We’re gonna party like it’s 1517

Forget Halloween, this is Reformation Day. A day to celebrate that we’ve got the Bible, that we’re saved by the work of Christ, that we have Christian freedom.

Today at Cranach we will stop making people mad by talking politics; rather, we will make people mad by talking religion. We will devote all of our postings for today and spilling over into the weekend to contemplate all things Reformation. That includes thinking how the Reformation applies today.

We begin with two music videos to set the mood, whereupon I invite you to nail your own theses to the door.

Battle Hymn of the Reformation

Here is a multi-media Reformation celebration, with “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” accompanied by the art of the Reformation, with lots of Lucas Cranach.

HT: Scott Sullivan via Wittenberg Trail

Reformation Rap

Going from the sublime to the somewhat ridiculous and from the 16th century to the 21st, we continue our celebration with the 95 Theses Rap, created by some students at Yale, who recognize just how COOL the Reformation is, with just the right kind of rebellion against established false authorities:

More about this here. And if, like me, you can’t take in rap lyrics without a transcript, here are the words.

OK, the Yalies are a little confused at some points, but they get Luther’s basic points. My favorite lines:

I warned y’all that Rome best agree to the terms.
If not, then you can eat my Diet of Worms!
You think you done something spectacular?
I wrote the Bible in the vernacular!
A heretic! [What?] Someone throw me a bone.
You forgot salvation comes through faith alone.. . .

“Oh snap, he’s messin’ with the holy communion.”
But I ain’t never dissed your precious hypostatic union!
“One place at one time.” Well, thank you Zwingli.
Yeah, way to disregard that whole “I’m God” thingy!
Getting’ all up in my rosary… you little punk.
Your momma shoulda told you not to mess with no monk.. . .

I’ve come back from obscurity to teach y’all a lesson,
Cuz someone here still ain’t read their Augsburg Confession.
I said Catholicism brings a life of excess,
And we all remember what went down with Philip of Hesse!
But you forgot about me and my demonstration?
Like you can just create your own denomination?
“We don’t like this part, so we’ll just add a little twist.”
Now we Anglican, Amish, and even Calvinist.
I gave you the power, you gone and abused it.
I gave you God’s truth, you just confused it.

HT: Mollie

The need to keep reforming

What needs reforming in today’s church? Do you see any reversions to the medieval errors? Do you see anything new that calls for a return to the Gospel and to the Word?

Converting Halloween to Reformation Day

Tonight, do not give candy out of trick-or-treat coercion or obligation, but as a free gift.

When you see people in masks, contemplate the masks of God; that is, the doctrine of vocation.

When you see our culture’s strange celebrations of death–all the gore, corpses, and graveyards–let it remind you of our Lord’s gruesome death on the Cross, His burial place, and His glorious resurrection.

The Republican captivity of the church

“I just hate what the Republican Party has done to Christianity.” So said tODD, who had stopped posting for awhile, fed up with the harsh tone of our political discussions. I’m glad he’s back. (And despite his defense of democrats and what some of you have accused him of, he is NOT an Obama supporter after all. He wrote in an early vote for Ron Paul, who is both anti-war and pro-life!)

Isn’t it true that the secular public is confusing conservative Christianity with conservative politics, just as many conservative Christians are doing?

Has the Christian alliance with the Republican party helped the cause of Christianity? Or prevented people from taking it seriously?

Has the Christian alliance with the Republican party helped the cause of political conservatism? Or prevented people from taking it seriously?

I predict that in the likely Republican defeat that seems imminent that Republicans will blame the conservative Christians in their midst.

I further predict that many Christians will retreat into the neo-monastic stance of not wanting to contaminate themselves with the world since politics is dirty, which would also be wrong.

What should Christians learn from all of this, and how should they respond?